MENU & RECIPE LINKS
The theme for our first supper club is Moroccan — with exotic and fragrant spices for a winter night. Recipe links are posted below.
To receive automatic notices when new menus or events are posted, click on the “follow” request at the lower right of this page. Click the following link to access guidelines and 2016 Dinner schedule. 2016-gastro-club-club-guidelines-dec-21-2015
Before you get started: Make sure to look at serving sizes and adjust recipe and shopping list as needed.
APPETIZER — Roasted Red Pepper & Walnut Dip (Mulharri), served with toasted pita bread, plus cheese of your choice with fresh figs and honey
MAIN ENTREE–Chicken Tagine with Almonds, Apricots, and Olives, served with couscous (host’s recipe of choice) and warmed Moroccan or Middle Eastern flat bread
Wine, Hot Mint Tea or decaf coffee (host provided)
Tips for hosts & guests:
APPETIZER: If you are bringing the appetizer, you can round off the dip with a wedge of cheese and any small touches reflecting theme – fresh figs, dollop of honey, apricot jam, etc. Bring extra pita, bread or crackers as needed.
1st COURSE: Heat and dress salad at host’s house right before serving. It’s ok to substitute dandelion greens with baby arugula, spinach or other green.
MAIN ENTREE: Hosts may serve any couscous recipe of choice. Here is one option, but choice is yours.
WINE: Wines will be selected and purchased by the host. Hosts may find it easier to bring the menu to your wine merchant to help pair with courses and get recommendation on quantities. Tell them you are part of the Highland Park Gastro Club and ask for a discount. Target $10-15 a bottle.
COCKTAILS: Themed cocktails or after dinner drinks may be served at the option of the host, but not required or included in shared costs.
SHARED COSTS: Guests, please jot down your costs and hand to your host or email them. Your host will distribute final expenses and amount owed a day or two after the dinner. Hosts, please use this Cost Calculator to estimate costs.
RSVPs: Please RSVP within a day or two of notice. If you are sick, notify host ASAP so they can get a replacement.
SUBs: Hosts, always call your sub to extend a personal invite. Subs, please reply within a day or two as your host needs a confirmation.
FOOD RESTRICTIONS: Tell your host if you have any food restrictions or allergies. For example, if you are a vegetarian or don’t eat a certain meat, let your host know you will skip the entree but double up on the sides (and if he/she can make a little extra). Most hosts would rather know up front and accommodate where possible.
SERVING and PREPARATION: If your course requires a special service plate, bowl or last-minute preparation – such as whipping a topping or heating soup or an appetizer, make sure to make arrangements with your host. Also, if you need a certain tool or pan, email other members and ask to borrow.
SPECIAL INGREDIENTS: Review recipes and shop early. Remember to buy bulk where possible. You can purchase just a teaspoon of any spice at Central Market – for pennies. If there is an exotic ingredient, pitch in with other members. Try to get fresh if possible – fresh ginger, not powder. Fresh mint, not flakes, etc.
ABOUT MOROCCAN CUISINE:
Morocco, unlike most other African countries, produces all the food it needs to feed its people, and is often considered the region’s gastronomic star. Its many home-grown fruits and vegetables include oranges, melons, tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, plus five especially important ingredients: lemons, olives, figs, dates, and almonds.
Flat, round Moroccan bread is eaten at every meal. The Moroccan national dish is the tajine, a lamb or poultry stew. The tajine, like other Moroccan dishes, is known for its distinctive flavoring, which comes from spices including saffron, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, ginger, and ground red pepper. Sweets play a very important role in the Moroccan diet. Every household has a supply of homemade sweet desserts made from almonds, honey, and other ingredients. Mint tea is served with every meal in Morocco. It is sweetened while it is still in the pot, and can be made with green tea and fresh mint